NFL Comes Down Hard with Suspensions on New Orleans Saints Players Past and Present
The NFL is taking no prisoners in the New Orleans Saints “Bounty-Gate” scandal. The league has handed out some steep penalties today, lead by LB Jonathan Vilma being suspended for the entire 2012 season without pay.
Also on the list is Anthony Hargrove, who will miss the first eight games. Unfortunately for Green Bay, he is a Packer. I bet they aren’t very impressed! Will Smith, still with New Orleans, will be a spectator for four games. Scott Fujita will miss the first three games. Similar to Hargrove, he is no longer with the Saints, as he signed with the Cleveland Browns.
The NFLPA is not taking the decision lightly, claiming, ”We have made it clear that punishment without evidence is not fair. We have spoken with our players and their representatives and we will vigorously protect and pursue all options on their behalf.” We anticipate a lengthy legal battle, which will result in a very messy court case.
The players involved declined to meet with NFL officials, but according to NFLPA sources, they are ready to defend their positions.
When asked, commissioner Roger Goodell rebutted by more or less saying it is the league’s opinion that a “Bounty Program” cannot exist without willing participants. Makes sense, I suppose.
Either way, this has been such a disaster for the Saints organization.
And it could get worse, as court cases by injured players are still possible.
…and that is the last word.